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The Burmese government announced on Sunday through state-run media that it will invite tender bids for a special economic zone (SEZ) development in Kyaukphyu, western Arakan state.
According to an official announcement in The New Light of Myanmar, the chairman of the Bid Evaluation and Awarding Committee (BEAC) has invited both domestic and international firms to submit a “comprehensive strategy” to develop the SEZ. It said that Kyaukphyu—which is the starting point for the Shwe Gas pipeline to China—is “endowed with a deep-sea port, [and] is included as a key project to be developed in Myanmar [Burma], with a vision to become a logistic hub in the region.”
Tender bids are to be submitted to the BEAC no later than 25 September.
According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, officials have said that they expect the project to begin by April next year.
AFP quoted official sources as saying that the cost of the initial phase of the SEZ was anticipated to be US$227 million.
The SEZ is to be situated on Yanbyae Island off the coast of Kyaukphyu, which serves as the endpoint for a projected Yunnan-Arakan railway line.
Kyaukphyu was the scene of communal violence between Muslims and Buddhists earlier this year. Although calm has been restored, local sources say tensions remain.